Billy Bob Thornton
At this point I assume most of you have either seen BAD SANTA or at least heard enough about it to decide whether or not you should. So…what’s the deal with this director’s cut?
Terry Zwigoff is a talented director (see GHOST WORLD), but this new version is pretty unnecessary. Aside from a slightly tweaked ending, there really isn’t anything new. In fact, at ten minutes shorter than the unrated version and two minutes shorter than the theatrical, there’s a lot missing. The boxing scene is gone, the shootout at the end becomes a couple warning shots and worse yet, there’s less John Ritter! The director’s cut might work better as a “film” (the humor is a tad more subtle and the voiceover narration is thankfully gone), but I think the unrated BADDER SANTA was funnier. And with this kind of movie, the laughs are what ultimately count.
BADDER SANTA is an easy 4 out of 5 stars. This new Director’s Cut gets 3 stars…still funny, but not as good.
Commentary by director Terry Zwigoff and editor Robert Hoffman: Both men explain the differences in this version of the movie and are pretty honest about why they made the changes. (Two words: test audiences.) I can respect them for wanting to play things more straight and let the comedy arise naturally, but I probably shouldn’t have seen the more outrageous BADDER SANTA before this one.
Deleted and Alternate Scenes: Four scenes, a couple of which are excised stuff from BADDER SANTA, so that’s a plus. Look out for Sarah Silverman as a (hot) Santa “trainer.”
Behind the Scenes Special: A ten minute typical promotional piece with some interviews, BTS footage and a quick tribute to the late and great John Ritter.
Outtakes: Nothing uproariously funny, although seeing more of John Ritter’s prudish, uncomfortable faces makes me laugh and weep at the same time.
Extra Tidbit: The F-word is used 147 times in this movie. Merry Christmas. Bring the kids.